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Development Meeting March 1st

Take your date out to dinner in Reno and also attend this meeting on the encroachment of Reno City Limits on Washoe Valley.

They haven’t posted an agenda for the meeting yet but I will post it (if) and when they do. If anyone has any other info, send it to washoevalley@gmail.com and I will post it.

Here’s some info Jill Mueller submitted on Nextdoor:

I don’t know if any of you made it to Wednesday’s meeting at the South Valleys Library where we heard Bob Lucey, our Commissioner here in Washoe Valley speak about what’s happening in Pleasant Valley, but I did. It was an eye opener!

In a nutshell, the City of Reno, by law, without allowing people in the area to have a voice, can annex land for sale with just a corner of it touching the City of Reno limits. And this is just what they are doing in Pleasant Valley all around the Hot Springs, so that they can rezone it for a land developer from California to buy it and plant houses and apartments.

There is also a law around the end of the city limits called a Sphere of Influence. That’s somthing like a 150′ leeway to help them add more later on.

City status has with it attached, sewers, city water, sidewalks and street lights, and most definently a way of life that is totally different from what we love here in Washoe Valley. Could even mean rezoning out here and no more horses.

I hope you can see that the saying: “Give them an inch and they will take a mile” would ultimately effect us too.

I believe we ALL need to stand up for our rural lifestyle here and SUPPORT THOSE PEOPLE IN PLEASANT VALLEY. our neighbors.

What we can do NOW is:
1. Call all our Senators and Assemblymen and tell them to look at the annexation law and change it so we have a voice in rural Nevada. and
2. Plan to just come to the Reno City Hall on March 1 at 6 PM to show support of the Pleasant Valley home owners. Bring Reno friends too if they believe in having Rural Nevada.

Commissioner Bob Lucey: Cell 775-501-0001, email blucey@washoecounty.us

Development Meeting Feb 15, 2017

There is a meeting for residents of Pleasant Valley and Washoe Valley scheduled for February 15 at 6pm at the South Valley’s Library at 15650 Wedge Parkway. This is a grass-roots residents meeting to discuss a zoning change for a planned development with a possible extension of the Reno City Limits.

The area to be developed is along the eastside of Hwy 395 between Rhodes Rd and Towne Road to the north. This is where Steamboat Hot Springs Resort is but that is apparently not involved.

Besides creeping high density development, our main concern is water and the proposals are very vague on that issue. It will probably be a good way for Washoe Valley residents to get up to speed in preparation to fight it here.

Ten years ago during the housing frenzy, developers were talking about needing water and sewer systems in Washoe Valley for their developments and that would mean annexation to Reno.

The website for the Pleasant Valley group is: saveruralnevada.com

They have the development documents available for pdf download on the site.

Here are the only mentions of water in the Rhodes Rd proposal:







The only “significant infrastructure improvements” the study cites is the new freeway so I don’t know how that provides adequate water. Considering that before this unusual winter, unappropriated water was disapearing as development is exploding in the area they should explain to us how this development is possible without taking water resources from current residents. I don’t know who would want to build a house on a hot springs but that is just me.

Hopefully you can attend the meeting.

Billboard and Lighted Sign Threat

Editor’s Note: We got this too late for the stated meeting but we want residents to be aware of this issue and let your supervisor’s know this is not acceptable for Washoe Valley.

County Shifts Position; Adds Potential for New billboards

What: Open house to review county’s new draft sign code
Where: Washoe County Complex, 1001 East Ninth Street, Reno
When: Thursday, November 6; 5 to 7 p.m.

Scenic Nevada is opposing the draft sign code being previewed by the public Thursday.

The draft would allow new billboards and digital billboards within the unincorporated county areas, which Scenic Nevada strongly opposes, including a special digital sign for one local business.

The changes are a monumental shift from the current code, which prohibits all new billboards including digitals. The draft was developed by county staff, with direction from county commissioners and feedback from a stakeholders’ group that included Scenic Nevada. Throughout the sessions, begun a year ago, we consistently objected to proposed regulations, allowing new billboards.

The public is invited to the open house and staff will be on hand to answer questions. Comment cards also will be available or email Trevor Lloyd at tlloyd@washoecounty.us

Billboards will have a new name
If approved, the county will call all signs on polls “freestanding” signs, even billboards. Anyone who gets a permit for one can choose to advertise their own business on the sign or sell advertising space, just like a billboard. Business owners could lease space to a billboard company on their property to erect a sign and run changeable ads.

The changes were driven largely by staff’s desire to simplify the sign code and create a “content neutral” approach, requested by county counsel to avoid court challenges by those claiming free speech violations. Billboards most often advertise the goods or services not sold on the property, while on-premise signs advertise the business on the property. Staff won’t be looking at the sign content to determine if it’s a billboard or a business sign.

Under the draft, only one freestanding sign is allowed for each parcel, and this, plus the smaller size could limit their use as billboards.

But, adding digital signs to the mix, which could electronically flash rotating ads every 20 seconds, increases the possibility that business signs could be used as digital billboards.

Also the regulations for freestanding signs are more relaxed than billboard regulations. For instance, freestanding signs can be spaced 75 feet apart under the draft rules. Billboards must be spaced 1,000 feet apart under the current code.

Big Signs for Big Business
At first staff said the signs would range in size from a mere four square feet in residential areas to 200 square feet for larger recreational, industrial and commercial businesses. Digital signs would be allowed but could only be half the size of what is permitted at the business and no bigger than 120 square feet. Digitals also require a public hearing and approval of a special use permit. Digital signs on parcels that have residential and agricultural uses are prohibited. Originally, the larger, conventionally-sized billboards, ranging from 300 to 672 square feet, also were prohibited.
That changed when staff eliminated billboard regulations in July and then in August when County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung and Kitty Jung asked for larger signs for “regional” types of land uses. Staff added new regulations, allowing signs of unlimited size for regional recreation, travel and tourism venues, with a special use permit from the county.
The commission’s new direction for bigger signs would allow local businessman Norm Dianda to erect a conventionally-sized digital billboard. Before the commission’s request, the draft code could have permitted a digital billboard for Mr. Dianda, but it would have been limited in size and had to be located at the venue.

Now, the draft code says applicants who want a sign over 300 square feet and who operate a big recreational or tourist venue can apply to the county commission. Mr. Dianda owns the Wild West Motorsports Park in the county’s East Truckee Canyon area, which qualifies him to apply.
The Wild West venue is blocked by hillsides and can’t be seen by motorists on Interstate 80. Incredibly, staff added a regulation that a larger sign could be permitted either on the “regional” property or one adjacent, if it is next to a highway, and zoned industrial or commercial. Mr. Dianda also owns the industrial property adjacent to the Wild West venue and next to I80. Under the draft code, Mr Dianda could win approvals for the first conventionally-sized digital billboard in the unincorporated County area.
Impacts on McCarran Ranch Project
The Wild West Motorsports Park is located on the north side of I80 across from the restored McCarran Ranch Project. The Nature Conservancy spent $25 million to restore the natural meanders to the Truckee River, removing noxious weeds and planting native vegetation, “revitalizing a broken river for people and nature.” It includes a nine-mile public bike path and a bird and wildlife sanctuary. Mr. Dianda’s sign could operate, 24/7, flashing bright ads in the dark night sky, depended on by nearby wildlife and migrating birds.
Possible Court Challenges

Scenic Nevada believes the code changes will open the door to court challenges, ironically, something county counsel wanted to avoid. The county risks jeopardizing the sign code, if a new digital billboard is permitted for one applicant who fits the “regional” use type and rejected for another who does not. Anyone refused a permit for a billboard under the draft regulations likely will sue the county alleging first amendment, due process and equal protection violations.

It’s unlikely the litigious billboard industry will stand for being shut out of the most lucrative advertising locations in the county; I80 and the newly constructed I580. The industry was knocking at the door at the beginning of the process almost a year ago, when the county agreed to update the sign code. But, county commissioners said then they didn’t want new billboards, new locations or digital billboards. Commissioners had said the bright flashing signs would dim the dark night sky, were unsightly and a distraction to drivers.

Scenic Nevada’s Requests

Scenic Nevada this week asked the county for the following:

To reinstate both sections of the code providing needed regulations for billboards and on-premise business signs, which were tossed in favor of the new draft, Article 505.
Add reasonable changes developed over the past year and included in a chart to regulate business digital and non-digital signs.
Eliminate all the special interest regulations regarding “regional” uses.
Prohibit new billboards, relocations and digital billboards.
Staff said changes likely will be made to the draft as it continues through the public process. The county will hold another stakeholders meeting and a second open house; then get county planning commission recommendations before the draft heads to the county commissioners for final approval.

Take Action!

Washoe Valley Citizen Alert

Verizon Wireless has filed an Application for a Special Use Permit to build a 100 ft. Cellular Communications Tower in North Washoe Valley. The tower would be located on the ridgeline behind Washoe Valley Storage on property leased to Verizon by Washoe Valley Storage. This tower would be of a lattice design to attempt to look like a very large, skinny windmill. The massive tower would be located in an open area with no terrain features or vegetation to conceal it. This tower far exceeds the size of anything in the surrounding area and would have a huge negative visual impact on residents. It would also contribute to the destruction of the rural character of Washoe Valley. The size and structure of this tower would easily allow other cellular carriers to add antennas in the future, making it even more of an eyesore. This Application was heard by the Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) on 03/13/14. The CAB recommended that an additional public meeting be held, or the project be delayed past the next CAB meeting, so Verizon could get additional citizen input. Verizon has not responded to these recommendations and is proceeding with the project on the original schedule.
Urgent – Help Stop This Project – Time is Short
The Application is scheduled to be heard by the Board of Adjustment on April 3, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will be in the County Commission Chambers in Building A of the Washoe County Complex, 1001 E. 9th Street, Reno. Attend if you can. If not, email your comments to our representative or all the members of the Washoe County Board of Adjustment.
District 1 – Philip J. Horan – phoran@washoecounty.us
District 2 – Robert F. Wideman – rwideman@washoecounty.us  (Our Rep)
District 4 – Lee Lawrence – llawrence@washoecounty.us
District 5 – Kim Toulouse, Chair – ktoulouse@washoecounty.us
You may also contact our County Commissioner, David Humke, at dhumke@washoecounty.us. Please note that Commissioner Humke is not a voting member of the Washoe County Board of Adjustment.

Detailed information on this Application can be found on the Washoe County website. Select DEPARTMENT LIST at the top of the page and then select Planning and Development from the drop down menu. On the left side of the Planning and Development Home Page select Application Submittals. The project is listed under District Two (Commissioner David Humke). The Case # and Title are      SB14-002, Verizon Wireless. The assigned Planner is Grace Sannazzaro. She can be contacted at 775-328-3771 or gsannazzaro@washoecounty.us. Please contact her if you have specific questions concerning this application.

This notification is being provided by The Washoe Valley Alliance. Please contact us at washoevalleyalliance@gmail.com if you have questions about this notification.

Development: Asleep On Watch Again

Isn’t someone keeping track of the threat of development here in Washoe Valley? You would think that after all the fuss made during the housing bubble of expansion of tract-home style developments with city water and sewer services, we would be better at keeping an eye out for these things.

Apparently, way back in May the West Washoe Valley landowner decided to hedge his bet on the public buy of his pasture land and submitted a housing development plan to the county which they approved. this is 303 acres across from Bowers Mansion. this is reportedly the last major parcel of the historic Winters Ranch property to be acquired by the public. Several other large parcels have been acquired by the BLM over the past several years. Our historic agricultural, rural open space is one of the aspects of Washoe Valley that makes it such an asset and special place for all Nevadans.

The original local tv station KRNV-4 article is here but last night,  KRNV 4 had avideo update in their local news section that said the owner is holding off on any more development plans till January, 2014 (5 months) to give the feds time to come up with the money. Typically, they do this by selling land close to Las Vegas for development as the land in Vegas has a more urban or suburban character. KOLO-TV had this from the BLM: A spokesperson for the BLM said thanks to land sales in southern Nevada, there is enough funding to purchase the land in Washoe Valley.

Details and a map are available on the Washoe County Website here.

We should all write and call our Congressional delegation often until January to encourage them to fight for this major part of our valley’s character and beautiful open space.

I am researching the subject and hopefully will have a sample letter posted soon.

Development Starting Up Again

Saw a news report in the local media reporting that a buyer has pruchased a tract of land in the Franktown area for the purpose of building luxury homes for wealthy Chinese who want a home in the USA. Maybe they heard that Tahoe was judged “Best Lake In The US” recently. Anyway, maybe we’ll get a good restaurant out of it.

Community Yardsale!


From: ann york

We are having a Defense Fund Yard Sale again on the Caves vacant lot by the Postal Cafe on Saturday June 25th. If you remember, the Fund is to pay for the work the attorney Tom Hall has helped us with in our battle to keep our valley rural, much because of the Weston property. There is quite a lot in storage from our last year’s sale, so we’re having another one to sell it. Also, if anyone has anything they would like to donate merchandise, just bring it down that Sat. AM, or make arrangements to get it there. Ed & I no longer have a truck to pick it up. If anyone would like to help with a truck, that would be very helpful. The sale will be from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM on the 25th. We also need tables & tarps & some chairs to put things on, also a cover to help keep the sun off, & of course some helpers with the sale. For donations, we accept only childrens good clothes, no other, & no heavy items we cannot handle. Just email me with what you would like to do.
Thank you!
Ann York- 849-0762

Help Washoe Valley

From a member of the Washoe Valley Working Group:

“As it says in the flyer,  the East Washoe Valley working group & the West Washoe Homeowners Association have hired a private attorney, Tom Hall, to represent Washoe Valley citizens’ interests in  two lawsuits regarding the TMSA application for municipal sewer and water that could, & probably would, lead to high density development in Washoe Valley.  Tom is well versed in water and land issues.  One lawsuit concerns the Weston property, 1 full section above Little Washoe Lake behind the power lines at the top of the hill going east.  The rest is explained in the flyer.  If you donate it would be wise to put “for the WV legal defense fund” at the bottom so you can deduct it on your taxes and would be used only for that fund.  Thank you!”


South Valleys Area Plan Update

The South Valleys Area Plan was approved by the
Regional Planning Governing Board
on May 14, 2009

•    Strong vision and mission statements to maintain the rural character
of Washoe Valley
•    One house per five acres for East Washoe Valley including
Ophir Lake Properties (no specific plan for Mr. Weston)
•    One house per ten acres for West Washoe Valley with encouragement for ongoing agricultural land use
•    Defined commercial area boundaries with limited expansion
•    Compatible Allowed Uses for the commercial area
•    Language that shows the support Washoe County and the
Regional Planning Commission for a scenic byway
A fourteen mile Washoe Valley State Scenic Byway has been approved by the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Please check washoevalley.org for updates.
Goal not met:       The South Valleys Area Plan does not keep the TMSA out of Washoe Valley. Mr. Weston has a TMSA request for public water and sewer for his entire 640 acres.  Negotiations are in progress to limit his TMSA access to the north of the hydrographic basin line (currently being surveyed) on the property.  The TMSA request will be heard before the end of this year.
Please check washoevalley.org for updates.
Thank you to Commissioner David Humke; Washoe County Community Development; East and West Washoe Valley CAB members; the Washoe Valley Working Group members; and to the dedication and spirit of the entire Washoe Valley community.
Special thanks to washoevalley.org for keeping us informed.

Water Measure Fails in Washoe Valley

According to this article in the RGJ, the water intiative that passed overwhelmingly, 73 to 27 percent in the election, was rejected by the majority of voters in two precincts, Washoe Valley and Spanish Springs. This surprises me, what with the concerns for the health to our valley tied so closely to water. The article goes on to say that “Washoe County Officials” will meet in January to discuss the implications of the new measure.